Harley Windsor and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya a pair of bright, young figure-skating stars are set to explode onto the 2018 Winter Olympics arena. They have gained world-wide attention with their rapid rise through the figure skating ranks. Becoming the Junior World Pair Skating champions for 2017, and the 2017 Australian National champions in little more than one year.

Harley from Rooty Hill, NSW, born on the 22nd October 1996, is of Australian Aboriginal descent. He began his skating career in 2005 almost by mistake. When aged nine, he and his mum took a wrong turn when out driving, when he noticed an ice skating rink, and wanted to check it out. He became hooked on skating, and in 2006 began coaching with Russian skaters, Andrei and Galina Pachin. Within a year of skating, he won the NSW championship for his age group. At first, he competed only in singles skating, then he began learning pairs when he hit a height of 186cm. This being too tall to skate alone. Being shorter is an advantage in performing the singles skating techniques.

Ekaterina, known as Katia was born in Moscow, Russia on 1st January 2000. She began her skating career at four years old in 2004, and competed as a singles skater during 2011-2012. She competed in pairs skating in Russia from 2012 to 2014. She moved to Australia in 2015 as Harley’s skating partner. Katia is planning to seek Australian citizenship to live in Australia permanently.

Harley Windsor and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya

(Image courtesy owia.org)

Harley and Katia began their partnership in January 2016. This was when Harley was having trouble finding a suitable Australian partner with whom he really clicked. Therefore, his coaches searched in Russia, finding Katia through her coach, Nina Mozer. At 16 years old and without a skating partner, she was found to be a good fit for Harley. As Harley’s Russian coaches had trained him in the Russian ballet style of figure skating, Katia’s technique matched his perfectly.

Their international debut took place in September 2016 at the Junior Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic. They finished 8th overall, ranking 6th in the short programme, and 9th in the free skate.

In Tallinn Estonia, later that month, they won their first gold medal - a first for Australian skaters. In October 2016, Harley and Katia made their senior debut in the Challenger Series, winning enough points to begin competing at the senior level International Skating Union (ISU) Championships.

In March, 2017 at Taipei Taiwan, they became Australia’s first figure skating international champions. It was a proud moment for both them and Australia, as the Australian National Anthem played for the very first time at the World Junior Championships. Their achievement had brought Australia into the international skating scene.

The next major step in their career is now on the horizon. They aspire to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. However, in March 2017 they had a setback when failing to qualify due to a fall during their performance at the World Figure Skating Championships. However, Harley and Katia are unperturbed, as they still have another chance to qualify successfully in Germany in September at the Olympic Qualifying Competition. Their coaches believe they have the qualities and talent to win a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The president of Ice Skating Australia, Peter Lynch has commented that they are very proud of Harley and Ekaterina. Also, that they are a good example of the talent that is present in Australia, which will blossom if given the chance.

In all, Harley and Katia have had an amazing time since they began their partnership. Clearly, their hard work and relentless schedule of training and practice is paying off. They have become Australia’s latest sporting success, and they are confident they have a bright skating future ahead of them. We wish them all the best in Korea and beyond...

You can view the pairs championship winning routine here: World Junior Championships 2017

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